Showing beauty to Patricia de Lille, the Executive Mayor of Cape Town

 At an exhibition of photos of homeless people’s dwellings by Gaelen Pinnock 

We are attuned to seeing these shelters as piles of rubbish
As eyesores to be removed from pavements,
Because they spoil the visage of the city

But when considered as art installations
Our eye accommodates them as things of beauty:

There is balance
Material is thoughtfully gathered –
Placed with deliberation and attention to detail
Belying their sense of impermanence

See this one’s symmetrical composition –
How it uses a length of tarpaulin,
With poised drums and rocks weighing it down
Against the South Easter

There’s irony in the Maserati cover of that one
And the red Stor-age Self-Storage sign in the background of the other,
And just look at the measured tying together of waterproofing sheets
That gives finesse to the whole

And what about the juxta-positioning
Of the towering-grey highway overpass,
Against the soft fabric of these warm papoose-homes, these cocoons
These ephemeral single-night dwellings, packed away each day
To be rebuilt, differently every night?

Here is dignity, wouldn’t you say?
The work of  artists
Who construct narratives worthy of respect
In the mad-hurry-harsh of  Cape Town.


I am Raphael
Cape Town July 2013
Raphael Dumisani

I am Raphael Dumisani.
Raphael was a painter of the bible.
I sleep outside.
The blankets get wet.
I wait until the day is shining.
Then I put them out to dry.
It will rain again.
Then it will shine again.


The best plastic for a street shelter
Denis de Waal

White is too bright.
Green can be seen.
But black! Black is right!
It’s the colour of the night!
They can’t see me when I sleep.


Seasons on the street
Denis de Waal

The days are warm now
But the enemy is coming
­– winter!

Exhibition: Future Foreshore, including Home Series 2013 – ongoing by Gaelen Pinnock at Cape Town City Hall 2nd Floor 14 – 25 April 2014
Curated by Ralph Borland
Model of Cape Town Foreshore: by Gaelen Pinnock assisted by students from University of Cape Town






Photographs A  B & C: Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille with Patricia Schonstein – by Heleen Mills.










Photograph of Model  by Romaney Pinnock
Photograph of  Gaelen Pinnock with model by Heleen Mills

Photograph of Ralph Borland  and Gaelen Pinnock by Heleen Mills




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